Nights of Horror: An NWU online series


Danielle Anderson, Co-Editor in Chief

Goodies, ghosts, and gore: the three G’s of Halloween that bring together the world’s spook lovers. Nebraska Wesleyan University is delivering an entire month of frightening, thrilling entertainment, thanks to the horror expertise of two NWU art professors, Matthew Jarvis and Juan Jose Castano-Marquez. Together, they have planned “Nights of Horror,” a 31-day virtual event that will feature films, interviews and discussions with leading screenwriters, makeup artists, authors and actors of some of the country’s most popular horror films, television series and books.

The creative programmers behind the event, Jarvis and Castano-Marquez, both share interests in pop-culture and media. Assistant professor of digital media, Castano-Marquez, teaches a first-year Archway Seminar exploring camp, a style or mode of personal or creative expression that is absurdly exaggerated and often fuses elements of high and popular culture, a theme often reflected in the film industry. Jarvis, visiting assistant professor of art history, shares similar interests but proclaims as the ‘bigger horror nerd’ of the duo. Offering a course in the winter term, Jarvis plans to instruct a course on global horror film, a perfect segway from this month of horror. Discussing the possibilities of the horror-based e-series and discovering their mutual love for spooks and thrill, the event was born.

Breaking out the white sheets and fake blood, this event is an online spectacle for the NWU community. Jarvis says he and Castano-Marquez, are big picture planners.

“Obviously with COVID-19 programming on any scale is a challenge, but I was interested in what could be achieved online, [and] there was no question that if we were going to do this, it would be on a large scale. There is really something for everyone.”

Kicking off the series is Gary Pullin, the artist responsible for the shocking, chord-striking film posters of Friday the 13th, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, The Big Lebowski, Vertigo, and The Babadook, as well as countless soundtrack covers, and other spook-tacular merchandise. To quote director / producer Guillermo del Toro, “Like a modern Frankenstein, Gary reanimates nostalgia and unleashes it to bite your ass!”

Another guest scholar to anticipate is S. T. Joshi, an American writer, musician, critic, and award-winning scholar whose work has largely focused on weird and fantastic fiction, especially the life and work of H. P. Lovecraft and associated writers. The event will also involve various makeup artists in horror including Joe Dulude, Emmy nominated makeup artist who famously worked on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and West End makeup designs on productions such as Wicked, Beetlejuice, Spongebob Squarepants the Musical, Sunday in the Park with George, Anastasia, Sweet Charity, The Wedding Singer, Grease!, Follies, Jekyll & Hyde and many more.

This series also features New York best-selling author, Matt Ruff, author of the novel Lovecraft Country, which was recently adapted to an HBO series and released in August 2020. Catch the thrilling, supernatural interview with Ruff on October 15th, 8:00 p.m., making the mid-way of the e-event.

“We are hoping that people are entertained, find new things to be interested by, and gain new appreciations even if they are themselves experts in an area,” Jarvis and Castano-Marquez state.  “The event is at its heart meant to be educational. That isn’t to say that education cannot be mixed with pop-culture and fun.”

The complete list of eerie e-events can be found at Streaming events are also available on their website.